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This year, six professors will receive the Distinguished Scholarship Award for 2014-15, recognized as outstanding faculty members.
Dustin Stegner, College of Liberal Arts
Stegner is an associate professor of the English department. He received his bachelor’s from the University of San Francisco before going on to get both his master’s and Ph.D. at Pennsylvania State University.
His teaching specialties are Shakespeare, Confessional and Penitential literature and Early Modern English literature. He has been recognized on numerous accounts for his teaching and scholarly excellence, the most recent of which was the Learn By Doing Grant awarded by Cal Poly in 2012. Professor Stegner is famous for his sense of humor and skill for engaging students of all fields in works of English Literature.
Sandra Stannard, College of Architecture and Environmental Design
Stannard is a professor of architecture. She received her B.A. in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley before doing her research fellowship in Copenhagen Denmark and completing her master’s in Architecture at the University of Washington.
Before coming to Cal Poly, Professor Stannard held teaching positions at the University of Idaho and the University of Washington, as well as international teaching experience at the Sede di Roma in Italy and the Universita degli Studi di Camerino in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. Her research focuses on issues of ecological sensitivity and “green” architectural design. She is a member of the American Solar Energy Society and was a board member of the U.S. Green Building Council for many years. She is a licensed architect in the state of California on a case-by-case basis.
Lars Tomanek, College of Science and Mathematics
Tomanek is an associate professor and director of the Environmental Proteomics Laboratory. He received his B.S. and M.S. in biology from the University of Konstanz in Konstanz, Germany, his Ph.D. in zoology from Oregon State University, and his post-docs at Stanford University and the University of California, Davis.
His research interests are primarily the ecological physiology of marine organisms and global climate change. As director of the Environmental Proteomics Laboratory, his team focuses on changes in levels of proteins in response to environmental stress. Their crew is among few experts on this subject in the country and have shared their expertise with schools around the country.
Wyatt Brown, College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences
Brown is a professor and the assistant department head for the horticulture and crop science department, where he has taught for 25 years. He is originally from New Orleans and came to Cal Poly from LSU via Cornell. His research interests center on pre-cut fruits and vegetables, plastics and modified-atmosphere packaging.
His research on anti-browning compounds for pre-cut produce has resulted in a recently conferred patent. Dr. Brown has a reputation as an instructor for being knowledgeable, tough, but fair. He is an adjunct professor in the food science and human nutrition department at Iowa State University at Ames. He is a faculty senator to the university’s Academic Senate and is the advisor for Cal Poly’s anime club Minna no Anime. This is the second consecutive year he has been recognized as an outstanding faculty member.
Philip Costanzo, College of Science and Mathematics
Costanzo is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Carnegie Mellon University in 2001 and received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry at University of California, Davis in 2005. Upon graduating he was awarded a National Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Army Research Laboratory, where as a post-doc he worked in the weapons and materials division developing new materials for a wide range of applications including composite armor and insensitive munitions.
He joined California Polytechnic State University in 2007 and is currently an associate professor. During his time at Cal Poly, he has directly mentored over 55 students, published 13 papers and been awarded over $1 million in funding. His research focuses upon the development of structure-property relationships, including Diels-Alder chemistry and new coupling reactions. When not on campus, he can be found on the golf course or cycling around San Luis Obispo County.
Todd Grundmeier, College of Science and Mathematics
Grundmeier is a professor in the College of Science and Mathematics in the mathematics department. He received his Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire before coming to teach at California Polytechnic State University.
His research interests are of the learning and teaching of mathematics at the undergraduate level; mathematical problem posing and problem solving, in-service professional development and pre-service teacher education. His teaching philosophy is to provide students with the opportunity to take ownership of their learning and the course content.